Over the last couple of weeks, I have been asked – what is the cinema agenda that Ghana is embarking on?
This is how it looks like broken into three:
It is critical to get Ghanaians to love and go back into the cinemas to watch films as a great form of entertainment for the entire family. This is something Ghanaians loved to do in the past and still do… we simply have to deepen the love 💕
Two, let’s attract cinema investments into Ghana. A country of over 35million people certainly need more than 5 cinemas. How about we push for a cinema in every region?
Number three, it is important that Ghanaian filmmakers find access to global distribution and markets. This is the only way that Ghana films can grow significantly.
Ghana has always had a cinema agenda of some sort. It is for this reason that Ghana was one of the first African countries to invest in the sector. With a soundstage and a black and white film lab on the production side of things and several cinemas on the exhibition side of things.
The local cinema houses, sometimes beat together by wood and zinc sheets were my favorites to watch Indian films and the many other films, including Ghanaian films we loved to watch.
Co-productions were ripe and so were the great local productions from the Ghana film corporation (GFIC) and local producers. As early as the 90s
How can a country so vibrant in film and moving in a certain direction come to such abrupt halt? An object moving with a certain force (velocity) in a given direction, needs an object of equal force in the opposite direction to bring it to a halt… and while we sold and broke down, others were uniting and building.
The good thing here is that life is not a race and we can catch up for the benefit of our people, but only if we make this a national agenda and most importantly, get the support and resources we need to move this agenda forward.
It is hard for me to fathom our disregard for a sector that impacts our daily lives so much. According to the recent Unesco report, the creative sector is the largest employer on the continent. This alone should call for a pause and attention that translates into support.
I didn’t exactly hear a plan for the creative sector in the recent budget. I am left even more confused. Perhaps we haven’t lobbied enough? Perhaps we are not captured enough in our data collection? Perhaps Sector folks identify more with other jobs that pay them more consistently and so do not identify as creatives in data collection exercises?
The Ghana cinema agenda is certainly something we can all agree on that we need… for entertainment, for branding, for finance, for economics, for jobs, for community, for expression, for tourism, for learning, for history… for soft power? For so so much
When was the last time you went to a cinema? Share your cinema experience… and take some time to learn more about the work of the National Film Authority of Ghana.
Juliet Yaa Asantewa Asante